The best children’s books about astronomy

Who am I?

I am an award-winning children’s book author who writes stories about unexpected friends, women who did the impossible, people who are (almost) forgotten & ideas that seem too complicated until I find the right way to tell them.


I wrote...

The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe

By Sandra Nickel, Aimée Sicuro (illustrator),

Book cover of The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe

What is my book about?

The Stuff Between the Stars tells the story of astronomer Vera Rubin, who discovered dark matter. She fell in love with stars when she was a girl. But when the male astronomers of her day shut her out, she decided to study something none of them were interested in. By doing this, she surpassed them all, revolutionizing modern astronomy. She proved that the space between the stars—all that dark we see at night—isn’t empty. It’s filled with stuff. And that stuff holds our universe together.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil Degrasse Tyson

Sandra Nickel Why did I love this book?

Starstruck tells the life story of astrophysicist and space enthusiast, Neil deGrasse Tyson. It tracks Neil’s passion for stars from his first visit to the Hayden Planetarium in New York City when he was nine years old to his appointment as director of that very planetarium. As you read, you can’t help being caught up in his excitement. Neil is known for using lots of exclamations, like “Whoa!” and his delight sparks throughout this book. Kids (and maybe adults too) will want to grab a telescope and run outside as soon as they’ve finished the last page.

By Kathleen Krull, Paul Brewer, Frank Morrison (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Starstruck as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A Step into Reading easy-to-read biography on science superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson, the groundbreaking American astrophysicist whose work has inspired a generation of young scientists and astronomers to reach for the stars!

This Step 3 Biography Reader introduces children to a young Neil deGrasse Tyson who was starstruck when he first visited the sky theater at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He couldn't believe the crowded, glittering night sky at the planetarium was real--until a visit to the country years later revealed the impossible.

That discovery was like rocket fuel for Neil's passion about space--taking him from the…


Book cover of Pluto's Secret: An Icy World's Tale of Discovery

Sandra Nickel Why did I love this book?

Pluto’s Secret is the tale of Pluto’s discovery, naming, and demotion from planet to “icy world.” Along the way, it is jam-packed with details about astronomy, with Pluto jumping in with its endearing point of view. Immersed in Pluto’s world this way, Pluto’s Secret is a fun and upbeat way to learn about planets as well as the way astronomy is done.

By Margaret Weitekamp, David H. DeVorkin, Diane Kidd (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pluto's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People, children especially, have been baffled, bewildered, and even outraged by the fact that Pluto is no longer called a planet. Through whimsical artwork and an entertaining dialogue format, Pluto's Secret explains the true story of this distant world, including its recent reclassification. Includes a glossary and bibliography.


Book cover of The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the Best-Kept Secrets of Space

Sandra Nickel Why did I love this book?

The Mysteries of the Universe is a fantastic astronomy reference book for children. It covers everything from the Milky Way to exoplanets. Each entry includes an illustration along with a short, easy to understand explanation. It’s a gorgeous and fascinating book that would be great for any budding astronomer.

By Will Gater,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mysteries of the Universe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Travel to the furthest reaches of the Universe and visit 100 remarkable objects along the way with this stunning space book for curious kids aged 7-9.

Space is so much bigger than young minds can fathom and there is always more to learn. The Mysteries of the Universe is a stunning space encyclopedia for young readers to explore, with reference pages packed with fascinating information, little learners will be captivated as they journey through the vastness of the Universe. From planets and asteroids to black holes and galaxies, every page of this enthralling space book reveals the secrets behind more…


Book cover of Margaret and the Moon

Sandra Nickel Why did I love this book?

Margaret and the Moon tells the story of Margaret Hamilton, who wrote the computer code that was key to the US first landing on the moon. The story is full of suspense. Margaret—not the astronauts—is the real hero of the story. But what is best about this book is that it is bursting with curiosity. Margaret wonders, Why are there only DADDY Longlegs? Why aren’t more girls scientists? How big is the moon? And with each of her questions, readers themselves became more and more curious! Isn’t that fabulous?!

By Dean Robbins, Lucy Knisley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Margaret and the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A true story from one of the Women of NASA!

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have…


Book cover of Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations

Sandra Nickel Why did I love this book?

The Greeks imagined a whole menagerie of animals in the stars, but the constellations can sometimes be difficult to figure out. National Geographic’s Zoo in the Sky changes all that. It lines up the stars with Christina Balit’s vibrant artwork, bringing the Great Bear, the Great Dog and the other animal constellations to life. It’s a gorgeous way to learn and enjoy the stars for both young and old readers alike.

By Jacqueline Mitton, Christina Balit (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zoo in the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

This award-winning book capturing the glittering light show of the constellations is now available in paperback. Take an illuminating ride through the starry night sky with National Geographic's Zoo in the Sky! Little Bear and the Great Bear in the Northern Sky; the scaly dragon winding his long tail; the Great Dog chasing the Hare in the Southern Sky; all are beautifully rendered in Christina Balit's vibrant art, studded with shiny stars, which perfectly illustrates Jacqueline Mitton's rich text. Awards include: Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award Parent Council Award REVIEW(S): "A visually dynamic introduction to the animal constellations." ―Booklist…


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The City Sings Green & Other Poems About Welcoming Wildlife

By Erica Silverman, Ginnie Hsu (illustrator),

Book cover of The City Sings Green & Other Poems About Welcoming Wildlife

Erica Silverman Author Of Wake Up, City!

New book alert!

Who am I?

I am an award-winning author of picture books and early readers. I have set my stories in many kinds of locations, including a haunted house, an Eastern European shtetl, an English Renaissance village, and a working cattle ranch. For Wake Up, City, I turned to the setting I know best, the city. I drew on memories of walking to kindergarten in early morning Brooklyn. This book is my love song to cities everywhere. As a lifelong city dweller, I worry about the impact of urban spread on the planet, but I feel hopeful, too, because many cities are becoming more nature and wildlife-friendly. The books I'm excited to share celebrate city wildlife. 

Erica's book list on celebrating cities

What is my book about?

A unique and artful blend of poetry, science, and activism, this picture book shows how city dwellers can intervene so that nature can work her magic.

In Oslo, Norway: citizens create a honeybee highway that stretches from one side of the city to the other, offering flowerpots, resting spots, bee boxes, and beehives—even water fountains—every eight hundred feet.

In the Bronx, New York: a community rallies to clean their river and cheers at the return of the long-lost beaver population.

In Busselton, Australia: people make a rope bridge that swings high above speeding cars, creating a safe path for tree-hopping possums and squirrels alike.

Through a mix of lyrical poems, real-life success stories, and bouquet-bright artwork, The City Sings Green explores the environmental impact of humans and showcases the many ways that we can rewild cities across the globe. Together, we can welcome nature back!

The City Sings Green & Other Poems About Welcoming Wildlife

By Erica Silverman, Ginnie Hsu (illustrator),

What is this book about?

A unique and artful blend of poetry, science, and activism, this picture book shows how city dwellers can intervene so that nature can work her magic. Perfect for fans of The Curious Garden and Harlem Grown.

In Oslo, Norway: citizens create a honey-bee highway that stretches from one side of the city to the other, offering flowerpots, resting spots, bee boxes and beehives-even water fountains-every 800 feet.

In the Bronx, New York: a community rallies to clean their river and cheers at the return of the long-lost beaver population.

In Busselton, Australia: people make a rope bridge that swings high…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in astronomy, women in the sciences, and the moon?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about astronomy, women in the sciences, and the moon.

Astronomy Explore 67 books about astronomy
Women In The Sciences Explore 29 books about women in the sciences
The Moon Explore 126 books about the moon